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I.W.G.P - NEW JAPAN
INTERNATIONAL GRAND PRIX

I.W.G.P. HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE HISTORY

June 12, 1987--Present

From Wrestling Title Histories
by Royal Duncan & Gary Will
with additional information from Matt Benaka, Brian Westcott, Hisaharu Tanabe and Andrew Zadarnowski

1.Antonio Inoki
06/12/87-Tokyo
Antonio Inoki defeated tournament winner Masa Saito.
14:53
Inoki vacated the title in May of 1988 when he broke his foot.

2.Tatsumi Fujinami
05/08/88-Tokyo
Tatsumi Fujinami defeated Big Van Vader {Leon White} to win the vacant title.
16:02
The title was held up on May 27, 1988 after a no-contest match against Riki Choshu in Sendai.

3.Tatsumi Fujinami (2)
06/24/88-Osaka
Fujinami won the rematch against Choshu.
18:46
He vacated the title on April 05, 1989 to raise the authority of the title, for which a one-night tournament at Tokyo Dome on April 24, 1989 is held.

4.Big Van Vader
04/24/89-Tokyo
09:47
Vader defeated Shin'ya Hashimoto in one-night tournament final with Lou Thesz as the special referee to determine the new champion.

5.Salman Hashimikov
05/25/89-Osaka
08.45

6.Riki Choshu {Mitsuo Yoshida}
07/12/89
Osaka
07:40

7.Big Van Vader (2)
08/10/89-Tokyo
10:04

8.Riki Choshu (2)
08/19/90-Tokyo
11:51

9.Tatsumi Fujinami (3)
12/26/90-Hamamatsu
11:18

10.Big Van Vader (3)
01/17/91-Yokohama
12:57

11.Tatsumi Fujinami (4)
03/04/91-Hiroshima
13:14

12.Riki Choshu (3)
01/04/92-Tokyo
12:11

13.The Great Muta {Keiji Mutoh}
08/16/92-Fukuoka
11:26

14.Shin'ya Hashimoto
09/20/93-Nagoya
20:30

15.Tatsumi Fujinami (5)
04/04/94-Hiroshima
00:14:53

16.Shin'ya Hashimoto (2)
05/01/94-Fukuoka(Fukuoka Dome)
06:04

17.Keiji Mutoh (2)
05/03/95-Fukuoka (Fukuoka Dome)
00:21:13
Kiji Mutoh defeated UWFI World Heavyweight Champion, Nobuhiko Takada in Tokyo in 00:16:16 via submission.

18.Nobuhiko Takada
01/04/96-Tokyo(Tokyo Egg Dome)
17:51

19.Shin'ya Hashimoto (3)
04/29/96-Tokyo
12:33

20.Kensuke Sasaki
08/31/97-Yokohama (Yokohama Arena)
00:16:54

21.Tatsumi Fujinami (6)
98/04/04-Tokyo
21:18

22.Masahiro Chono
08/08/98-Osaka Dome
19:53

TITLE VACANT
09/19/98-Nagoya
Masahiro Chono suffered a serious neck injury while teaming with Hiroyoshi Tenzan during a tag team tournament match.
He was supposed to defend the belt against Scott Norton on Sept. 23

23.Scott Norton
09/23/98-Yokohama
11:11
Defeats Yuji Nagata.

24.Keiji Muto [3]
01/04/99-Tokyo (Tokyo Egg Dome)
19:01

25.Gen'ichiro Tenryu
12/10/99-Osaka
26:32


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26.Kensuke Sasaki [2]
01/04/2000-Tokyo (Tokyo Egg Dome)
14:43

Title Vacant
Kensuke Sasaki vacates the title after losing a non-title match to Toshiaki Kawada
10/09/2000- Tokyo (Tokyo Dome)

27.Kensuke Sasaki [3]
01/04/2001-Tokyo (Tokyo Egg Dome)
Defeated Toshiaki Kawada in the final of 6-man one-night tournament.
10:30

28.Scott Norton [2]
03/17/2001-Nagoya
11:49

29.Kazuyuki Fujita
04/09/2001-Tokyo (Tokyo Dome)
Fujita defeated Scott Norton with a sleeper hold
06:43

Title Vacant
12/2001
Fujita vacated due to achilles' tendon injury.

30.Tadao Yasuda
02/16/2002-Tokyo (Tokyo Sumo Hall)
Defeated Yuji Nagata in tournament final to win vacant title.
15:15

31.Yuji Nagata
04/05/2002-Tokyo, Japan (Budokhan Hall - Smaller arena)
15:01

32.Yoshihiro Takayama
05/02/2003-Tokyo, JAPAN (Tokyo Dome)
18:23
Reigning NWF champion, defeated Yuuji Nagata in a double title match.

33.Hiroyoshi Tenzan
11/03/2003-Yokohama, JAPAN (Yokohama Arena)
27:26

34.Shinsuke Nakamura
12/09/2003-Osaka, JAPAN (Osaka Prefectural Gym)
12:03
Shinsuke Nakamura won the NWF Heavyweight Title defeating Yoshihiro Takayama to unify it with the IWGP World Heavyweight Title on 01/03/2004 in Tokyo, Japan

TITLE VACANT
02/05/2004 (official date)
Shinsuke Nakamura vacates the title due to a broken orbital bone sustained during an MMA fight against Alexei Ignashov on 12/31/2003
Actual date of vacancy decision was 01/04

35.Hiroyoshi Tenzan [2]02/15/2004-Tokyo, JAPAN (Ryogoku Kokugikan - Sumo Hall)
Defeats Genichiro Tenryu in an 8-man tournament final to win vacant title.
13:01

36.Kensuke Sasaki [4]
03/12/2004-Tokyo, JAPAN
15:45

37.Bob Sapp
03/28/2004-Tokyo, JAPAN (Ryogoku Kokugikan - Sumo Hall)
08:00

38.Kazuyuki Fujita [2]
06/05/2004-Osaka, Japan (Osaka Prefectural Gym)
Defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi for the vacant title
11:45

39.Kensuke Sasaki
10/09/2004-Tokyo, Japan (Ryogoku Kokugikan - Sumo Hall)
02:29

40.Hiroyoshi Tenzan [3]
12/12/2004-Nagoya, Japan (Nagoya Aichi Prefectural Gym)
31:38

41.Satoshi Kojima
02/20/2005-Tokyo, Japan (Ryogoku Kokugikan - Sumo Hall
Wins by KO.
59:49

42.Hiroyoshi Tenzan [4]
05/14/2005-Tokyo (Tokyo Egg Dome)
19:34

43.Kazuyuki Fujita [3]
07/18/2005-Sapporo (Tsukisamu Green Dome)
13:59

44.Brock Lesnar
10/08/2005-Tokyo, Japan (Tokyo Egg Dome)
Won a 3-way match against Kazuyuki Fujita (champ) and Masahiro Chono by pinning Chono.
08:08
NJPW "Toukon Souzou (Fighting Spirit Creation) - New Chapter"

Title Vacant
07/15/2006
Brock Lesnar has been stripped of the title on due to a contractual problem.

45.Hiroshi Tanahashi
07/17/2006-Sapporo (Tsukisamu Green Dome)
Defeated Giant Bernard (A-Train/Prince Albert) in one-night 6-man tournament final to win the vacant title.
17:44

46.Yuji Nagata
04/13/2007-Osaka, Japan (Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium)
23:34

47.Hiroshi Tanahashi [2]
10/08/2007-Tokyo (Ryogoku Kokugikan)
31:05

48.Shinsuke Nakamura [2]
01/04/2008-Tokyo (Tokyo Egg Dome)
23:08

IWGP Heavyweight Title Unification Match
02/17/2008-Tokyo, Japan
IWGP 2nd vs. IWGP 3rd: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) defeated Kurt Angle (c) with a cross armbreaker (1st defense) to become the new IWGP 3rd Belt Champion and unify the titles.

49.Keiji Mutoh [4]
04/27/2008-Osaka
22:34

50.Hiroshi Tanahashi [3]
01/04/2009-Tokyo (Tokyo Egg Dome)
30:22

51.Manabu Nakanishi
05/06/2009-Tokyo (Tokyo Korakuen Hall)
21:42

52.Hiroshi Tanahashi [4]
06/20/2009-Osaka

TITLE VACANT
08/16/2009
Hiroshi Tanahashi vacated the title due to suffering a broken orbital bone during a match with Shinsuke Nakamura on 08/16/2009. Nakamura to face Togi Makabe to decide the new champion on 09/27/2009 in Kobe.
31:18

53.Shinsuke Nakamura [3]
09/27/2009-Kobe, Hyogo, JAPAN (Kobe World Hall)
Defeated Togi Makabe to win vacant title.
20:57

54.Togi Makabe
05/03/2010-Fukuoka, JPN
18:18

55.Satoshi Kojima [2]
10/11/2010-Tokyo
19:12

56.Hiroshi Tanahashi [5]
01/04/2011-Tokyo (Tokyo Egg Dome)
21:57

57.Kazuchika Okada
02/12/2012-Osaka

58.Hiroshi Tanahashi [6]
06/16/2012-Osaka

59.Kazuchika Okada [2]
04/07/2013-Tokyo

60.AJ Styles (Allen Neal Jones)
05/03/2014-Fukuoka (Fukuoka International Center)
24:31

61.Hiroshi Tanahashi [7]
10/13/2014-Tokyo


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